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SEMA 2012: Tacos in VEGAS

Written by  Jim Akers
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Pro Lift 4x4 Tacoma truck lift kit at SEMA 2012This years SEMA was the best yet, especially for the Tacoma Magazine crew.  From the new manufacturers to the same faces with their new products and so much in between.  Some of the new companies & products for us this year included: ARE and their Overland Truck Cap, man they make a great truck cap;  Firestone and their new Air Ride System might just be one of the most interesting products for me at the show. Bolt and their Vehicle Matching Lock Systems might just take the worrying out of losing the keys to your locks;  Pro-lift is a new name (but they have been around for many years under someone else’s name) and makes some amazing lift kits.  Looxcie “The little connected camera with a lot to share” might be a lot of fun for us in the future.  Finally ComeUp, a winch company with their gorgeous red Tacoma in the booth makes some pretty awesome looking gear with great options to choose from.

 

Of course there were several companies that we’re already familiar with as well, so it was really great to chat with their staff this year.  Toytec had a good showing with all of their wares and a steady stream of traffic through the booth. Asfir4x4 had a lot to say with their under body armor, though LCA skids would be a nice addition.  Trail Gear always makes their presence known and they were talking up their new crawl box for the Taco.  Baja Designs had their equipment lighting up the space for sure.  Between the brand new Tacoma and the MaxTrax Rally fighter (along with all of their other Manufacturers) Outback Proven had me spell bound for over an hour .  Last but so far from least was the Toyota booth.  They had so many amazing cars and trucks they had everyone’s attention.  The TRD trailer was outside for all to tour with a dragster sitting next to it.  I only wished they had a Tacoma on the floor, but not this year with the Dream Toyota Project Competition .  NHRA Top Fuel points leader Antron Brown created a Sequoia Family Dragster that seats four.  Alexis DeJoria built a sweet Pre-Runner Patrol Tundra. Nascar’s Clint Bowyer built a Prius with as much tech as an Apple Store.  Also from Nascar, Kyle Busch designed the Rowdy Edition Camry that won the design competition in the name of his Kyle Busch Foundation. Of course we can’t leave out the Bassmasters Elite Pro Series Ultimate Fishing Tundra. 

The afterhours were just as fun and the show this year!  We were privileged to be invited to the Overland Journal Party again this year along with a few others. There were plenty of familiar faces in attendance as usual at the “OJ House” (no, not THAT OJ).  The Expedition Overland crew was giving us the breaking news on their new project Tacoma they are going building up in 2013 (See A visit with Clay Croft, page 18).  I finally got to meet up with Kurt from Cruiser Outfitters and he has some stories for us as well.  Outback Proven was there telling us about the build-up on their first Tacoma. It’s an all Australian build that we’ll be featuring as well.  The ladies from Team X-Elles were there talking about their upcoming race in Morocco that sounds like an amazing adventure.  Del Albright from the Blue Ribbon Coalition was sharing what is going on with the Friends of the Rubicon.  As usual our hosts were wonderful and recounted some of their favorite details from their most recent journeys from around the world.  My final night in Sin City was spent checking out the strip and having an adult beverage with Slee Offroad and one of our friends at Long Beach Racers (See page 4).

With all that we got to see and enjoy in Vegas this year, we are already planning our trip for next year.  Not to mention all of the builds that we will be sharing with you as we move forward over the next few months.

Hope to see you there next year!

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